Intel's Infineon purchase paid off with a substantial rise in revenue

For all its critics and cynics, Intel Corp. (INTC) was still on top of the chipmaking market in 2011, posting one of the largest year-to-year growth numbers, according to a new report [press release] by iSuppli.  

I. The Winners

Intel's whopping 20.6 percent gains came thanks to its purchase of Infineon’s wireless unit, an ARM Holdings plc (LON:ARM) licensee who makes mobile baseband processors using the lightweight architecture, helped Intel realize big mobile sales and embed itself in smartphones.

Another big winner was San Diego, Calif. based Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM).  Buoyed by strong sales of Android handsets, Qualcomm posted explosive 41.6 percent growth, rising from 9th place in global chip sales to 6th place.  Interestingly, Qualcomm is poised to wage war with Intel in the PC space in 2012, with the launch of the ARM-friendly Windows 8 and Snapdragon 4-powered laptops/tablets.

Qualcomm's chipmaking rivals NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN) posted modest growth of 12.9 and 7.5 percent, respectively.  While not exactly the sales juggernaut that Snapdragon has proved, NVIDIA's Tegra and Texas Instruments' OMAP chip families sold well in 2011, supplementing the companies' more traditional sales fodder.

Qualcomm Snapdragon on Nokia
U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm won big in 2011.  [Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Outside the ARM space, the biggest winner -- the biggest growth of anyone, for that matter -- was ON Semiconductor Corp. (ONNN).  A maker of LCD lighting and various other automotive and consumer solutions, the company's scooped up smaller players on its way to a formidable year of sales.  Nichia Corp. -- another LED maker -- bucked the trend of Japanese firms declining in 2011, positing an impressive 34.1 percent growth.

Semiconductor sales
(Click to enlarge) [Image Source: iSuppli, modifications: DailyTech]

II. The Losers

Overall the effects of the March Tohoku earthquake and tsunami helped to drag down global averages in sales.  Japanese electronics firms saw a 7.2 revenue decline, in contrast with the average U.S. growth rate of 7.5 percent.  A weak yen also hurt Japan.  Sony Corp. (TYO:6758) was among the losers.

Memory manufacturers were also hit by a painful year, which left Samsung reportedly the only profitable manufacturer of DRAM.  Some Japanese firms felt the double-blow of the tsunami, the weakening yen, and weakening DRAM demand.  Toshiba Corp. (TYO:6502) was among these unlucky few.

The tsunami and flooding in southeast Asia led Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KS:005930) to experience practically no revenue growth, despite a strong year of smartphone sales.

Overall sales grew a tepid 1.3 percent globally, after a 5.9 percent decline in Q4 2011.  Only 52.6 percent of the top 302 chipmakers examined in the report posted positive revenue growth in 2011.

In 2012, expect 2011's winners to keep winning.  Intel is well positioned with incoming Ivy Bridge chips.  Likewise, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Texas Instruments are expected to continue their sales ascent.  And LED lighting firms are expected to flourish, as prices drop and companies and individual buyers turn to the energy efficient lighting source.

Source: iSuppli

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

Most Popular Articles

Copyright 2018 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki